UEFA announced on Thursday that it was opening an investigation into the participation of Szymon Marciniak, the Polish referee appointed to direct the Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan on June 10. In question: the participation of one of the best referees in the world, in a meeting of the extreme right. It was The Guardian that revealed the case after the outrage of Never Again, an anti-racist association: "We ask the arbitrator to admit his mistake. If he doesn't, we think UEFA and FIFA should draw the consequences," said Rafał Pankowski, one of the co-founders of Never Again.
Asked by The Guardian, UEFA responded on this more than thorny subject: "UEFA is aware of the allegations concerning Szymon Marciniak and asks for urgent clarification. UEFA and the wider football community hate the values promoted by the group in question and take these allegations very seriously. A new announcement will be made tomorrow (Friday), after reviewing all the evidence. The 42-year-old referee, who presided over the last World Cup final between France and Argentina, responded to the invitation of Slawomir Mentzen, leader of the Confederation party whose slogan is "We are against Jews, homosexuals, abortion, taxation and the European Union." According to The Guardian, the meeting, which was intended to promote the Mentzen beer brand, was primarily a political rally.